SNAP Disability Requirements and Verifications

 

To be considered disabled in SNAP, a client must meet one of the requirements listed in this section:

The client receives or is certified to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits (Title XVI), or disability or blindness payments under Titles I (Old Age Assistance), II (Retirement, Survivor and Disability Insurance [RSDI]), X (Aid to the Blind), XIV (Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled) or XVI of the Social Security Act; or receives or is certified to receive federally or State-administered supplemental benefits (SSP) under section 1616(a) of the Social Security Act provided that the eligibility to receive the benefits is based upon the disability or blindness criteria used under title XVI of the Social Security Act or receives federally or State-administered supplemental benefits under section 212(a) of Pub. L. 93–66.

Verification:

Proof that the disabled client is receiving or is certified to receive SSI benefits, federally and/or State-administered supplemental benefits or disability or blindness payments under RSDI. You must first check to see if this information is verified on BENDEX, SDX or BEACON. If not, the client must provide written verification, for example, a copy of an award or benefits letter or a copy of a benefits check.

Beneficiary Earnings Data Exchange (BENDEX) - also called Benefit Data Exchange - is a monthly computer match by Social Security number between Department of Transitional Assistance case files and Social Security records. State Data Exchange (SDX) provides the Department (DTA) with eligibility payment and demographic information on people who receive SSI for use in determination of eligibility for TAFDC, EAEDC and SNAP.  On BEACON, the breakout of the federal and State-administered supplemental benefits and SSI amounts can be found (as separate amounts) on the SSI Tracking page.

The client receives disability-related medical assistance under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Verification:

Proof from the client that s/he verify this.  You must first check the External SSA Data screens in BEACON to try to obtain this verification; or if the client has an open MassHealth status, you must call 1-800-888-3420 to verify that a disability determination has been made. Verification that the client is receiving or eligible to receive MassHealth disability can be used to have SNAP eligibility determined in accordance with the elderly and disabled regulations.

The client receives disability retirement benefits from a governmental agency because of a disability considered permanent under section 221(i) of the Social Security Act.

Verification:

Use the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) most current list of disabilities considered permanent under the Social Security Act. If it is obvious to you that the client has one of the listed disabilities, s/he must be considered to have verified the disability. If the disability is not obvious, the client must verify the disability by providing a statement from a physician or a licensed or certified psychologist certifying that s/he has one of the disabilities listed.

The client is a veteran with a service-connected or non service-connected disability rated or paid as total by the Veterans’ Administration (VA) under Title 38 of the United States Code.

Verification:

A statement from the VA that clearly indicates the disabled client is receiving VA disability benefits for a service-connected or non service-connected disability rated as total or paid at the total rate by the VA.

The client is a veteran considered by the VA to be in need of regular aid and attendance or permanently housebound under Title 38 of the United States Code.

Verification:

Proof that the disabled client is receiving VA disability benefits is sufficient verification of disability.

The client is a surviving spouse of a veteran and considered by the VA to be in need of regular aid and attendance or permanently housebound or a surviving child of a veteran and considered by the VA to be permanently incapable of self-support under Title 38 of the United States Code.

Verification:

Proof that the disabled client is receiving VA disability benefits is sufficient verification of disability.

The client is a surviving spouse or surviving child of a veteran receiving or approved by the VA to receive compensation for a service-connected death or pension benefits for a nonservice-connected death under Title 38 of the United States Code and has a disability considered permanent under section 221(i) of the Social Security Act.

Verification:

Use the SSA’s most current list of disabilities considered permanent under the Social Security Act. If it is obvious to you that the client has one of the listed disabilities, the client must be considered to have verified the disability. If the disability is not obvious, the client must verify the disability by providing a statement from a physician or a licensed or certified psychologist certifying that s/he has one of the disabilities listed.

The client receives an annuity payment under: section 2(a)(1)(iv) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 and is determined to be eligible to receive Medicare by the Railroad Retirement Board; or section 2(a)(1)(v) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 and is determined to be disabled based upon the criteria used in determining eligibility for SSI.

Verification:

Proof that the client receives a Railroad Retirement disability annuity from the Railroad Retirement Board and has been determined to qualify for Medicare. You must first try to verify this information on BENDEX.  If the information is not verified on BENDEX, the client must provide verification.

 

Note

The requirements in 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8 above must be verified in all cases. The requirements in 3 and 7 above regarding a disability considered permanent must be verified only if the disability is not obvious to the Department.

 

How to Determine Disability When a Client is No Longer Receiving SSA Payments

There are times when a client may no longer meet the requirements to receive SSI and/or RSDI payments but is still considered federally-disabled by SSA.

If a client is not actively receiving payments, but a disability onset date is present on the External SSA Data screens, you must explore if the client is still considered disabled by looking at the client’s Pay Status.

If a client is no longer disabled and was previously receiving SSI, the following Payment Status codes would appear:

 

If a client is no longer disabled and was previously receiving RSDI, the following Payment Status codes would appear:

Note

The codes N07, N08, and T8 are not displayed in the Payment Status field on the External SSA Data screen, but you will be able to see the wording Not disabled, Not blind, or Terminated beneficiary no longer disabled in the Payment Status field.

 

 

Example of when a payment has ended but the client is still certified as disabled:

 

In the above example, the client is still considered disabled as there is a disability onset date present, and the Payment Status is Countable Income > payment.  This means the client’s SSI benefits were terminated due to a financial reason, but the client is still entered disabled.

However, there are cases where the client is no longer receiving SSA income due to no longer being disabled. These cases will have a specific Payment Status code that indicates the client is no longer disabled. These clients must not be coded as disabled (unless the client provides additional verification of his/her disability) regardless if there is a disability onset date, as the payment was denied due to the client not being disabled.

 

 

 SSI - When a client’s payment has ended and is no longer disabled:

 

SSI – When a client’s payment has ended and is no longer considered disabled/blind:

 

RSDI - When a client’s payment has ended and is no longer disabled:

 

Disability Onset Date but Application is Pending = Not Disabled

You must also not code a client disabled, regardless if there is a disability onset date, if the client has never received a payment and has a pending application for SSI or RSDI. Clients applying for Social Security benefits determine their own disability onset dates at application and SSA confirms whether the disability onset date is appropriate. Since the application has not been approved, you cannot determine if the client is disabled by the SSA data screen.

 

 

If a client has a disability onset date in the External SSA Data screen and the Payment Status does not indicate any of the above reasons indicating that the client is not disabled, you must mark the client as disabled.

 

 

  Last Update:  October 11, 2019